9th November 1832

Buenos Aires
Called with Capt. FitzRoy on Donna Clara or Mrs Clarke. The history of this woman is most strange. She was originally a handsome young woman, transported for some atrocious crime. On board the convict ship on its passage outwards, she lived with the Captain: some time before coming to the Latitude of Buenos Ayres she planned with the rest of the convict women to murder all on board excepting a few sailors. She with her own hands killed the Captain, & by the help of a few sailors brought the ship into Buenos Ayres. After this she married a man of considerable property & now inherits it. Everybody seems to have forgotten her crimes, from the extraordinary labours she underwent in nursing our soldiers after the disastrous attempt (our flags are now in the Cathedral) to take this city. Mrs Clarke is now an old decrepid woman: with a masculine face, & evidently even yet a most ferocious mind. Her commonest expressions are "I would hang them all Sir", "I would kill him Sir," for smaller offences, "I would cut their fingers off". The worthy old lady looks as if she would rather do it, than say so.

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